My favourite marina: A little bit of Oz in Malaysia

Whenever I think of Pangkor marina, Rupert Brooke’s World War I poem, The Soldier, comes to mind. I paraphrase it to read: “if in some corner of a foreign field, that is forever Australia.”

This is because there are always several Australian boats visiting the marina, which in turn has created a real Australian community feeling.

The marina operations director James Khoo and the office staff Akina and Ruz are friendly and helpful. They go out of their way to assist visiting yachties, whether it is a recommendation for a restaurant or information about where to find elusive boat parts and services.

Pangkor Marina (approach waypoint 04°12.66’N:100°35.1’E) is built on a man-made island which is connected to the mainland by a bridge with a four lane road. It is situated in the Malacca Straits about 80 nautical miles south of Penang and is about a three hour drive to both Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

It makes a convenient stopover when transiting up the Malaysian west coast. We have stopped there several times and have also laid up our boat for an extended period.

Some of the great things about Asia are the cheap food and accommodation, the people are friendly, travel is reasonably priced and there is a lot to see. It usually costs around AU$60 to travel by air between most Asian capitals.

Many cruisers in Asia sail for six to eight months per year in the dry season and then layup their boat in wet season and either fly home or explore Asia by land. Malaysia is one of best places to leave your boat as the authorities, unlike Thailand and Indonesia, allow foreigners to leave their boats there indefinitely.

The challenge in Malaysia is finding a well-equipped, secure marina at a reasonable price. In my opinion, Pangkor is currently the stand out choice.

Marina amenities

The marina has floating berths for 80 yachts protected by a breakwater. Berths have power and water.
The marina office has free WiFi, a book exchange and tea/coffee making facilities. The marina has free car parking, basic showers, toilets, 24 hour security etc.

The marina complex has several restaurants and a small convenience type store. There is a Best Western Hotel in the complex with a good swimming pool and a poolside bar, which is a great way to cool down after a hot day.

The marina complex includes an extensive boat yard with hard stands for 70 boats up to 23 metres in length and a nine space large undercover shed where major refits, rerigging and maintenance takes place. It has a 40-tonne SEA lift, a purpose-built vehicle with large rubber pontoons that are positioned under your boat which hydraulically lift it from the water. No need to remove forestays and no damage to the hull from straps.

Over the last few years a small skilled workforce has been developing at the marina.

You will find shipwrights, excellent boat painters, diesel mechanic, fiberglass workers, welders, an excellent stainless steel foundry near the Lumut port, carpenters and woodworkers. As well as men to wash and polish your hull. An unskilled worker costs around AU$30 per day.

The closest supermarket complex is a 20-minute drive away in Seri Manjung. Here you will find a large Tesco, a Giant and Aeon supermarkets. Plus a further five minutes down the road you will find Billion, Econosave, Pasaraya Rapid and several other outlets.

There are hundreds of restaurants in the area so you can dine out cheaply three times a day. There are a number of well equipped hardware stores and also several specialist stores for boat paint, electronics, etc.

Buses to Kuala Lumpur and many other major towns: Ipoh, Butterworth/Penang etc., depart from nearby Lumut. Or you can go to nearby Sitiawan and catch an express bus to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Fees

Berthing fees are AU$0.60 per foot per day for a monohull with a 50 per cent surcharge for multihulls. There are significant discounts for longer stays and special rates are offered to participants of the Sail Malaysia rallies.

Water costs AU$0.60 per cubic metre and electricity around $0.20 per kilowatt. Haul out and re-launch is $14 per foot.

If you are going further afield, you can hire a good quality car for around AU$30 to $40 per day. For local travel, a motorbike costs around $10 per day and a basic car costs about $250 per month. We normally hire a car for a month and share it with another boat.

To make further enquiries contact the marina by phone: +605 680 5888,
fax: +605 680 5800, or e-mail: jameskhm@gmail.com.

www.marinaisland.com.

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